I discovered my "Why" on August 1st of last year, at exactly 2:46 am.
My daughter Olivia suffered a traumatic birth injury due to medical miscues and spent her first 68 days in the hospital in the NICU.
The labor was difficult and long, 30+ hours, and in the end they had to do an emergency C-section and Olivia ended up being HIE, which is that she was deprived of oxygen for an undetermined amount of time which caused her to be born blue and pretty much not alive.
They had to resuscitate her after birth and even though by 5 pm later that day I was able to hold her and she was alive, awake, somewhat alert, it didn't last long because by 6 pm she started to suffer seizures so bad they had to medicate her with 3 different drugs to keep her from seizing.
This roller coaster ride lasted about 30 days. It was tough going at first, day to day, hour to hour, spending all that time in between home and the hospital. But things slowly improved and it looked like she would be discharged by the the end of August with some developmental delays. Things were looking up. Then the real trouble began.
The second roller coaster ride began one morning when we get a call from the NICU and were told she was crashing so bad that they wanted us there ASAP just in case she didn't make it. Never drove that fast in my life. We got there and she is a mess. Sodium levels had crashed and she was pretty much circling the drain and the doctors had NO IDEA WHY.
At one point they had 6 doctors around her little bed and 5 others in conference call to figure out what was wrong and how to save her. They had no clue. And in the end, they never did figure it out.
The one thing we know is that she ended up having a systemic viral infection, had pretty much gone septic, and all the doctors could do was chase the symptoms and fix the things as they went wrong versus stopping what was causing the problems.
She did make it. This little girl of mine is the toughest fighter I have ever seen. She went through 4 different surgeries, was intubated and extubated more times than most of those doctors had ever seen, and her little body has been through so much.
She has hearing impairment from one of the viral meds they gave her during the crash, she has cortical vision impairment from the lack of oxygen, she has delayed development because of the brain trauma, she is over 12 months old but tracks like a 2-3 month old. Though somehow her major systems are ok. Her heart, lungs, and kidneys are fine and Lord knows the kid can pee and poop with the best of them.
Because of the developmental delay, she has a hard time swallowing and they implanted a "button" so that we have to feed her through a G-Tube. Though we hope that will not be a lifelong need.
Everyday is an adventure.
And that girl is my "WHY"
Why I do the things I do to make my daughter's life the best it can be.
It's probably one of the reasons I got into IM because I want to develop a long-term passive income stream that will help supplement my job and the business my wife and I run.
So...to the actual question of this post. But I wanted to share my story, my daughter's story.
We had a hard time celebrating Olivia's first birthday since basically it was probably one of the saddest/happiest moments of our lives.
Once it passed we felt the need to celebrate something so we chose the day she came home from the NICU, October 6th.
Part of the celebration is to develop a website to help fund-raise for all the medical bills we are piling up even as I type. We have pretty good insurance through my job, but even so, bills are adding up.
Add to that the fact that her issues will be lifelong and we will have all sorts of expenses tied to her quality of life.
We are setting up a website to both tell her story and also give people ways of helping to fund-raise for her needs.
Initially I want to make it a shopping site where people can click though affiliate links to do the shopping they would normally do, but at least we could make commissions off of their spending.
I set up an Amazon Affiliate account because so many people shop there and if we let people basically do their shopping, but just do it though our link, they don't really notice anything different, but we get some money to help out.
So... I'm looking for ideas, guidance, help in setting up such a site.
I'm savvy enough that I can do a lot of it myself if I have the proper guidance.
Amazon was the first idea, but I'm sure there are other affiliate sites and stores that can be used to help make more money.
So I'm looking for help and ideas, which affiliates I could use, how to set them up, the logistics of it all.
It is my hope that once we set something up we can share it with our local community, my workplace (I work for FedEx), and then get it online and get it in front of people who would want to help out.
Not looking for handouts, though we have considered using crowdfunding if we decided to pursue some high-end treatments that are expensive and not covered by insurance.
I know this is a lot, and I think my initial question in my mind was "How can I set up a generic Amazon Affiliate Link that people can click on to get to the front page of Amazon and then anything they buy gets credited to us". But I think I want the site to be more.
I'm not a young kid with a sick kid. I'm a middle-aged guy who just had his world turned upside down and who every day realizes his life will never be the same. I want to share my story to help our family deal with the pain and to help us cope with what I truly believe will be a financial roller coaster for a long time.
I think that's enough.
I'm tired from writing.
Please, if you have any ideas or can shed any light on what I hopefully made clear is my goal, I would be very grateful. My family would be grateful.